Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville Times belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville Times, its staff or publishers)
Talk about luck! When I have a bit of bad luck, it seems there is always a little good luck that goes along with it. I hope it’s the same way for you. It brings to mind the old adage that “things could always be worse.”
Some of my good luck had nothing to do with me. I truly feel that it was good luck that I ended up in Somerville. It’s convenient to Boston, where all my relatives and friends are, my house is there, and I know how to get around town. OK, that was pretty dumb, but seriously, I believe in luck, both good and bad. We just never know when it’s going to strike.
Last week we decided to take a little trip down to Rhode Island to visit my new granddaughter. I pile my nearly 90-year-old aunt, my cousin and my two sons into the truck and head off for the 140-mile round-trip drive. We had a very nice visit and drove back to Somerville. I dropped off the boys, auntie and my cousin and picked up my girlfriend and her daughter to go to Best Buy in Meffa. As we approached the traffic light at the intersection of McGrath Highway and Broadway waiting to go left, smoke starts coming from under the hood of my truck. My truck, which is approaching 127,000 miles. My truck that is almost brand new from replacing parts. My truck that just did a round trip to Rhode Island.
I start to freak out, of course, and beep at the one car in front of me. My girlfriend says, “What are you doing? She can’t go through the light!” So the longest red light in history finally changes and I head over to Fellsway Auto and pull in. I pop the hood and see some steaming liquid all over the engine.
“Jimmy,” the owner says, “leave the keys. I’ll look at it and call you.”
The first two hunks of good luck already happened: Thank God the truck didn’t break down someplace in Rhode Island on the interstate; and thank God the radiator blew right in front of my trusty mechanic’s garage! Do I have luck or what? (By the way, let me explain to you that any little out-of-the-ordinary snafu, problem, sidetrack, blemish, delay, spillage, leak, phone call, incoming text message or even an unexpected sneeze sends me into a nervous panic. It always works out, but I still spaz out. That’s just me.)
My third bit of good luck was seeing my pal Sal, who was picking up his vehicle at Fellsway Auto just in time to drive us back to my girlfriend’s house to get her truck. We drove there in the comfort of his Cadillac Escalade (the quintessential Ville ride!), catching up on Somerville news and gossip. Sal’s been my friend since the ‘70s. Another great advantage to living in a city like ours all your life is having friends like Sal all over the Ville (The trick is trying to avoid the pains-in-the-asses you also know! That’s another bit of luck we hope comes our way!).
The fourth bit of luck was that Jimmy, my mechanic (best mechanic around!), had my truck all done by noon the next day. We barely lost a beat. Unfortunately, there was no luck involved when it came to paying the bill for the repair. Reasonable but still painful! Then, on New Year’s Eve, I get a call from my tenant that she had no hot water. Awesome … new hot-water heater! Lots of cash later, they once again have hot water (and before the blizzard!) Hey, I can’t be lucky all the time, right? Let’s just hope that I get a break from any more expensive “breaks” for a while.
The good luck was that my trusty plumber (another Somerville kid) did it very quickly. He also told me he noticed a bad water pipe in the cellar that’s ready to go. Great! See? Good and bad.
So, all in all, I guess I have pretty good luck. You have to take the good with the bad and basically be glad it isn’t worse. Although … I was already at my desk Thursday when my boss informed me that I need not come in because of the snowstorm. That’s bad luck. But I got to look good (can you say “brown nose”?) by coming into work and staying for a few hours when I didn’t have to! That’s good luck (unless the boss sees the brown-nose crack!) Like I said, you have to take the good with the bad. Good luck!